More forest cover, less pandemic incidents: Madhya Pradesh study

the asian age  | Rabindra Nath Choudhury

Life, Health

The study has been conducted by the Madhya Pradesh forest department.

Representational image. (AFP)

Bhopal: Does environment play a role in curbing incidence of pandemic in an area? A study by Madhya Pradesh forest department has led to some interesting findings linking forest cover to incidence of pandemic in a region.

“More the forest cover, less incidence of pandemic,” the preliminary findings by the study indicated.

“We have noticed that the areas with more forest cover per thousand population in the state have reported less incidence of pandemic than those with less forest cover per thousand population,” the study has found.

“It is an observation supported by facts and figures. More studies should be done in the field to link environment with outbreak of pandemic. It may be a forest remedy to the pandemic,” Rajneesh Singh, spokesman of state forest department, told this newspaper on Thursday.

The observation was based on the study on forest cover percentage in each district, its availability per thousand of people, and spread of pandemic in these areas intensity of which are marked by Red, Orange and Green Zones.

Indore, Bhopal, Ujjain, Khargone and Morena where forest cover per thousand people is less than 100 hectares, have witnessed high incidence of pandemic pushing them into Red Zones of coronavirus outbreak.

Interestingly, districts like Betul and Chhindwara which enjoyed high density forest cover, have reported less incidence of pandemic bringing them into Orange Zone, notwithstanding the fact that they bordered Red Zone districts of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

In fact, districts such as Balaghat, Shahdol, Panna, Anuppu and Umaria which have high density of forest cover and also witnessed return of migrants in thousands in the past one month are in Green Zone reporting little or no incidence of pandemic.

“From the data, it appears that immunity of people living in areas having better forest cover is more than those living in areas with less forest cover,” the preliminary findings of the study indicate.

Madhya Pradesh has reported 4,251 coronavirus positive cases and 232 deaths. Total 42 out of 52 districts in the state have so far been affected by the pandemic.

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